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The Neshaminy Board of School Directors met in public session on May 22, 2002, in the Auditorium of the Maple Point Middle School.  The following persons were in attendance:

BOARD MEMBERS:

ADMINISTRATORS:

 

 

Mr. Steven Schoenstadt, President

Dr. Gary Bowman

Mrs. Yvonne Butville
Mr. Harry Dengler, Jr.

Dr. Raymond Boccuti**
Mr. Harry Jones

Ms. Carol Drioli

Mr. Joseph Paradise

Mr. Richard Eccles

Mr. P. Howard Wilson

Mrs. Kimberly Jowett*
George Mecleary, Jr., Esq.

Mr. Bruce Wyatt 

Dr. William Spitz
BOARD MEMBER NOT PRESENT:

Mrs. June Bostwick

SOLICITOR:
Kristina S. Wiercinski, Esq.

SECRETARY:  Mrs. Anita Walls

STUDENT REPRESENTATIVES:
Miss Beth Foster
Miss Sabrina Ziemer
 

*   Arrived at 8:15 p.m.

OTHERS:  Approximately 35 persons from the

** Arrived at 9:10 p.m.

public, staff and press

 

Call to Order Mr. Schoenstadt called the meeting to order at 8:05 p.m.

Pledge of Allegiance- Mr. Schoenstadt requested those in attendance join in the salute to the flag.  

Announcements � No Announcements.

Student Representative Report Miss Foster and Miss Ziemer, student representatives, reported the following:

         Yearbooks are being issued at an autograph party on Friday, May 24, 2002, 7:00-l0:00p.m.

The cost of the yearbook is $70 and it will be the first all color issue.

         Spring sports are doing extremely well.  Girl�s soccer, softball and baseball are advancing to the playoffs.  Track team is going to states.

         Senior Prom is Saturday, May 25th, at the Princeton Hyatt.

         Picnic is in the final planning stages and will be held on June 7th at the High School.

         Commencement is June 12th at the Harry Franks Stadium.

         Leadership Breakfast was held on May 22nd for the Senior, Junior and sophomore class officers, National Honor Society officers, and other various school leaders.  The Student Council sponsored it.  Dr. Bowman was in attendance.

         New Student Council Officers:

-          President � Meghana Nene

-          Vice-President � Samantha Magathan

-          Secretary � Kelly Vuong

-          Treasurer � Jennifer Bosco

-          Historian � Ashley McNulty

 

         Graduation projects went quite well for both students and teachers.

         Meetings were held with the Senior class regarding graduation. A motivational speaker presented a program.

         The District Art Show was held at the High School on May 20th to May 22nd.

         History Club trip to Boston was thoroughly enjoyed by the students and chaperones.

Miss Foster thanked all the Board members since this would be the last meeting the student representatives would be attending.

Board Recognition- Future Problem Solving Program State Champions

 Dr. Bowman read a letter dated April 29th from the Pennsylvania Future Problem Solving Program:

                                Congratulations to Kevin Knowles and Marian Reed and the Neshaminy
                               
High School Team of Problem Solvers.  You should be very proud of the
                               
work this team did this past weekend at the Pennsylvania State Future
                               
Problem Solving Bowl.  The fact that they pulled off this win with two
                               
substitutes speak highly for the quality of students you are producing.
                               
What a fantastic group of students.  I really enjoyed getting to know them
                               
and watching them as they tackled this years problem, which focused on
                               
Environmental Law problems that we may face in the future.  Being a
                               
State finalist in anything is an accomplishment.  I hope that you will be able
                               
to find time to recognize these outstanding students and their coaches for
                               
their efforts.

Dr. Bowman announced that they as champions would be moving on to international competition in Connecticut.  Dr. Bowman announced that Mr. Kevin Knowles has been involved in the district for sixteen years with this program, and Mr. John Rock got Mr. Knowles involved in the program.  Mr. Knowles has been taking teams to the states for fifteen years, and he has previously taken seven teams to the Internationals. The International competition will recognize the top five teams and a Neshaminy team has tied for fifth.  Teams usually finish in the top ten.  The majority of time spent on preparation is during the students personal and non-school time.  Dr. Bowman congratulated Mr. Knowles and Ms. Marian Reed for being part of this wonderful program.   The program is another indication of the academic quality that is available within the school district if our students want to take advantage of it. 

Mr. Schoenstadt presented certificates to the following:

                                Mr. Kevin Knowles
                               
Ms. Marian Reed
                               
Gwynne Kevin
                               
Arian Reiner
                               
Alician Melandra
                               
Rich Petrillo
                               
Ali Linsk  - Will be joining the team for the International competition
                               
Liz Brown - Will be joining the team for the International competition

Representative Matthew Wright stated that he was very honored to be at Neshaminy this evening, and the group of students to be distinguished is an excellent group.  Representative Wright further stated that it is very rare in the nation that schools consistently go to state championships and internationals.  Representative Wright noted that his daughter was a member of the Future Problem Solving team and she had gone to internationals, and he attested to all the hard work and all the time spent.  The environmental issue of brown fields which are old industrial type-sites is a major problem in America, especially in Pennsylvania, where old mills, mining towns, factories, etc., and it is a pressing problem that we encounter today and new solutions are always welcome.  Representative Wright wished the best of luck to Mr. Knowles and Ms. Reed and all the students who would travel to internationals.    Also, Representative Wright thanked Mr. Knowles and Ms. Reed for the stewardship and leadership, and their long upstanding tradition of winners. 

Representative Wright presented the Board with a Citation and also a Citation from Senator Tommy Tomlinson.  These are officially approved Citations by the Pennsylvania Senate and House and approved by all legislators from all four corners of the State.

Public Comment There was a two-minute time limit per speaker.  Mr. Schneider, Langhorne Borough, stated that the Board would be looking at the Home Education Policy that would allow home schoolers to become involved in extra curricular activities.  Mr. Schneider thanked the members of the Board Policies committee for their work.   Mr. Schneider was hopeful that a favorable vote would occur.  Mr. Schneider also thanked the Board for their work on the budget and advised that the Board has a lot of weight on their shoulders at a time when the economy is dealing with stagnant and declining incomes.  The efforts of the Board to keep the taxes under control are greatly appreciated.

Ms. Mary Schaubhut, Langhorne, Reading Specialist at Maple Point Middle School and parent of three students who have attended Neshaminy Schools, was in attendance to represent the seventh and eighth grade Language Arts teachers, Department Chairmen, and Reading Specialists who are very concerned about the cutting of the seventh and eighth grade language arts program from the budget this year.  Meetings have taken place during the year and a new program has been selected.  This new program would meet the needs of the students, and fit the standards that were not being covered for the PSSA test.  The program currently in place is thirteen years old and the books are falling apart.  Seventy new books are needed, but the publisher has not published these books for at least four years.  Two years ago we bought replacement books from a used book company.  There is a possibility that there may not be enough books for all the students next year.  The program selected would be for 1500 students at an approximate cost of $50 per child.  With shipping, this equates to approximately $81,000.  This would include a text book for each child, free teacher materials for the life of the program, two free hard backs that support the program, a work book for each child, a planning CD Rom for each teacher, and a test generator that does plans for the needs of individual students.  Mrs. Schaubhut stated that the company has agreed to write a purchase order this year, and pay for the materials in 2003 with no interest charge.   The current price would be paid and the books would be received free for the year.   The same price would be paid next year instead of 5%-l0% more.  Mrs. Schaubhut encouraged the Board to reconsider this program since it is desperately needed.

Mr. Myrl Brut, Langhorne, apologized that he has been out of the area and has not had an opportunity to review the budget, and has some questions and concerns about the budget. 

Mr. Schoenstadt advised that the budget is still being processed.  The Board will look at the preliminary budget, which is different than the one previously announced, but it does not represent the final budget. 

However, at this time the Board and Administration are still actively seeking ways to reduce the burden on the taxpayer. 

Mr. Brut advised that he signed the Registration for Public Comment three (3) times and the Board may hear him for six (6) minutes or three (3) two (2) minute segments.  Mr. Brut questioned whether the cost of Home Bound Instruction has increased, decreased, or stayed the same from last year?

Mr. Schoenstadt advised that after the Board passes the preliminary budget, a copy of it will be available for the public, and the final budget will be voted on June 11th.   Mr. Schoenstadt advised that everything increased, that is a given.  Mr. Paradise also noted that there are summary budget documents that are available at the table. 

Mr. Brut advised that he sat in on earlier meetings when Tawanka School was closed and it was going to be set up for kids who need a little bit more help.  Mr. Brut questioned, would it not be possible that the home bound would be reduced?

Mr. Schoenstadt advised that the answers to the questions asked were all available in the documents that are publicly available on the Internet, publicly available on the table, and information obtained by attending previous meetings.    Mr. Schoenstadt advised that at the public sessions the Board does not engage in answering questions during public comment.  The Board will listen to your comments and questions and they will be addressed either during the Board comment period at the end of the meeting or the information will be obtained for you.

Mr. Brut questioned the monies allocated for summer days for employees of Neshaminy School District and whether it was increased, decreased, or stayed the same.

Mr. Brut commented regarding a Courier Times article that talked about Neshaminy having an overabundance of administrators.  Mr. Brut questioned Mr. Wilsons position.   Since Mr. Wilson is moving into the Superintendents position, was it replaced or not replaced, and how was that reconfigured. 

Mr. Ted Steffes, Langhorne, requested that the Board introduce themselves.  Mr. Steffes stated that the decrease in enrollment in this community is noted and noted for a good reason.  The majority of the community is now in the lower middle class, which is not unusual.  We are finding ourselves more and more in the service industry with jobs that pay less.  Years ago we had one wage earner.  Now there are two wage earners just to maintain costs.  The first budget meeting had two young families from Levittown pleading to reduce costs dramatically.  These families are hurting.  The economics in the last ten years have taken a dramatic switch in this area.  We are no longer living in a smoke stack community; we are living in a community that can no longer afford the costs that are being passed on. Mr. Steffes stated that no company of any substance wants to come into a community where you have run away taxes that are uncontrolled.  In the past the Board relied upon Administrators to give them guidance so that they could make good decisions.  Unfortunately, a lot of the residents are leaving the area because the jobs are no longer good, the jobs are in other areas, and companies will not locate here since the cost is too high.  Mr. Steffes would like the Board to consider bringing in an outside firm on this preliminary budget, and let them review it and give advice.  The Board owes this to the community.  The community can no longer afford the costs that have been passed on during the past ten years.  Lastly, Mr. Steffes noted that we have to consider the students.   The students need more of what we can give them, not all the extras that they really dont need.

Approval of Minutes Upon motion of Mr. Dengler and seconded by Mrs. Jowett, the Board approved the minutes of the April 23, 2002 and May 7, 2002 Public Meetings with eight ayes.

Approval of Treasurers Report, Bills for Payment, Investments, and Exonerations of Personal and Per Capita Tax Mr. Paradise presented the following for approval:

         April 30, 2002 Treasurers Report, subject to audit

         Bills for payment Check Register- April, 2002

         Two Escrow Funds and Three Investment Funds

         Personal and per capita tax exonerations for April 2002 totaling 28 exonerations

Mr. Eccles moved the April 30, 2002 Treasurers Report be approved, subject to audit, the April 2002 bills for payment, and April, 2002 personal and per capita tax exonerations be approved.  Mr. Dengler seconded the motion.

Dr. Spitz questioned a check in the amount of $3,000 to Penndel Lanes for the bowling team and whether that amount covers the entire year.   Mr. Paradise stated that without having an invoice he could not comment and he would check on the amount.  Mr. Paradise did, however, note that it is a negotiated price and it is not the regular retail price.

The Board approved the Treasurers Report, subject to audit, bills for payment, and exonerations of personal and per capita tax with eight ayes. 

Bids Mr. Paradise presented the following bids for approval:

Bid No. 03-12 Science Supplies

Bid Amount:  $11,473.66

The bid is for various supplies for the instruction of science curricula district-wide for next year.  Each item is awarded to the respective low bidder for each respective item.  As requested by Mr. Eccles at the last Work Session this item is down from $l2, 567.00 

Bid No. 03-13 Classroom & Art Aids

Bid Amount:  $34,135.68

The bid is for classroom and art supplies for the 2002/03 school year, which include paints, drawing paper, brushes, markers, yarn, cloth, and other arts and craft materials for classroom use.

Bid No. 03-16 Trash Removal & Recycling

Bid Amount:  $162,720.00  (Three Year Bid - $54,240.00 per year)

The bid is for trash removal and recycling for the District for the school years: 2002/03, 2003/04, and 2004/05.

Bid No. #1FB001-PA Roof Restorations at Hoover and Schweitzer Elementary Schools

Bid Amount:  $743,828.11

The bid is for roof repairs at Schweitzer and Hoover Elementary Schools.  This is under the PA Education Joint Purchasing Council and will come under the swing loan which we eventually hope will be rolled over into the bond issue.  The Hoover job was estimated at $250,000, and the results of the bid are $227,375.29.  The Schweitzer bid was estimated at $530,000, and that came in at $5l6,452.82.

Mr. Paradise noted that the Food Service Department Profit and Loss Statement reflects a sizeable profit.  The Food Service Department is a self-supporting entity and this will allow them to reinvest those monies back into the operation and continue to be no drain on the budget. 

Mr. Mecleary moved the four bids be approved and Ms. Drioli seconded the motion.  The Board approved the four bids with eight ayes. 

Certified and Support Personnel Actions Dr. Bowman presented the following for approval:

         Elections Certified Staff

         Resignations and Leaves of Absence Certified Staff

         Elections and Changes of Classification Support Staff

         Resignations and Leaves of Absence Support Staff

         Sabbatical Leaves of Certified Staff

Dr Bowman advised that the Board received Addendum of Elections of Certified Personnel (H-1a) recommending the appointment of Mr. John Metz as acting Assistant Principal at Maple Point Middle School, which replaces Ms. Dawn Kelly who is the Acting Principal at Everitt Elementary School, and Addendum of Elections of Support Personnel (H-5a).

Dr. Bowman advised that H-2 thru H-3 contains an extensive list of 47 individuals with resignations and leaves of absence of Certified Personnel.  Most of these individuals completed assignments that were long-term substitutes.  Note:  #32, Bunny McGee, Director of Food Services, is retiring effective September 30, 2002, and she is responsible for providing the wonderful results provided in the Profit and Loss Statement for the Food Services Department.  Dr. Bowman thanked Mrs. McGee for her service to Neshaminy School District. 

Dr. Bowman noted on H-6, Day to Day Substitutes, and recommended these substitutes in the support area and H-7 lists the Resignations and Leaves of Support Personnel.  Dr. Bowman noted that there are two (2) retirements due to personal reasons and a termination.

Dr. Bowman recommended the approval of the personnel report for certified and support personnel as presented.

Mr. Eccles moved the personnel actions listed on pages H-1 through H-8 and Addendums be approved.  Mrs. Dengler seconded the motion.

 The Board approved the personnel actions with eight ayes.

Motion:  Approval of Dr. Gary L. Bowman Scholarship Fund and Bank Account

Mr. Dengler presented the following motion:

                WHEREAS, the Neshaminy Community wishes to recognize his many years of service to
                the Neshaminy School District and its Community; and 

               

                WHEREAS, contributions have been made by colleagues, friends, family and community
    members.

 

                NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, in accordance with Section 2l6 of the Public School     Code, I move that the Board of School Directors create the Dr. Gary L. Bowman Scholarship 
    Fund.

               

                BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the scholarship fund will be a perpetual program and a 
    sum of money will be awarded annually to a graduating senior to be selected in accordance
    with criteria and procedures to be established in an agreement between Dr. Gary L. Bowman
     and the Neshaminy School District.

 

                BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that an account be established at First Federal Savings and
    Loan Association of Bucks County and said account to be known as the Dr. Gary L. Bowman
    Scholarship Fund.

Ms. Drioli seconded the motion.  The Board approved the motion with eight ayes.

Mrs. Butville commented that she hoped that Dr. Bowman is available for many years to award that scholarship to the recipients. 

Motion:  Approval of the Carolyn Baldwin Scholarship Bank Account

Mr. Schoenstadt presented the following motion:

WHEREAS, a scholarship has been established in the memory of Carolyn Baldwin; and

 

WHEREAS, in order to administer the trust, it is necessary to establish a bank account for this purpose.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, account number 0465049271 at First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Bucks County is established, and said account be known as the Carolyn Baldwin Memorial Scholarship Fund.

In a response to Ms. Driolis request, Dr. Bowman explained that this Scholarship Fund has been established in the memory of Carolyn Baldwin who was a wonderful, highly respected teacher at the Pearl Buck Elementary School, who passed away with cancer. Her family wanted to designate a scholarship in her memory and contributed a sizeable sum of money from her estate to establish the scholarship.  Dr. Bowman further noted that the staff and students at Pearl Buck and her colleagues throughout the whole school community are pleased that the memorial scholarship fund was established in her memory.  Carolyn Baldwin represented the finest quality of professional.

Dr. Spitz seconded the motion.  The Board approved the motion with eight ayes.

Motion:  Approval of the Bucks County Technical High School 2002-2003 Budget

Mr. Dengler presented the following motion:

                WHEREAS, in order to provide technical high school education for students, six Lower Bucks
                County School District cooperatively established the Bucks County Technical High School; and

 

                WHEREAS, each participating school district must annually approve the Technical High Schools
   annual budget.

 

                NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Neshaminy Board of School Directors, approves
    the 2002-2003 Bucks County Technical High School budget in the amount of $11,659,834 with the
    Neshaminy School District 2002-2003 net fiscal payment to be $1,539,698.

Mrs. Butville seconded the motion.  The Board approved the motion with eight ayes.

Motion:  Bucks County Technical School Articles of Agreement

Mrs. Butville presented the following motion:

WHEREAS, the Bucks County Technical School Articles of Agreement require the Technical School Treasurer to be a paid position and chosen under certain conditions; and

WHEREAS, the Neshaminy Board of School Directors wishes to recommend amendment to those Articles of Agreement to remove this specific requirement for a Treasurer.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Neshaminy Board of School Directors recommend a change in the Articles of Agreement to allow the Technical School Business Administrator to perform the duties of the Treasurer at no additional salary.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Neshaminy Board of School Directors encourage the other sending school districts to take similar action concerning the Treasurer.

Mr. Mecleary seconded the motion.  The Board approved the motion with eight ayes.

Motion:  Appointment of a Treasurer

Mr. Eccles presented the following motion:

 WHEREAS, each year during the month of May the Board must elect a Treasurer to serve for one year beginning the following July l.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Joseph V. Paradise, Business Administrator, be appointed Treasurer of the Neshaminy Board of School Directors, beginning July l, 2002, with no additional compensation.

Dr. Spitz seconded the motion.  The Board approved the motion with eight ayes.

Motion:  Adoption of School Board Policy - #708 Advertising

Mrs. Butville presented the following motion:

WHEREAS, commercialism in schools is increasing in many forms and complexity; and

WHEREAS, the Board recognizes that for profit advertising has always been part of schools to a limited extent; and

WHEREAS, the Board must protect students from exploitation, and to stay clear of distractions that could impede the educational mission of the District; and

WHEREAS, the Board also recognizes that commercial advertising in schools can provide additional revenues or other benefits which the taxpayer might otherwise be asked to fund; and

WHEREAS, in order to keep District Board Policies updated, current, new, and revised policies are recommended by the Administration to the Board Policy Committee for review; and

WHEREAS, after review by the Board Policy Committee, the District is ready to recommend a new Board Policy #708 Advertising.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Policy #708-Advertising be approved by the Board of School Directors.

Mrs. Jowett seconded the motion. 

Mr. Eccles apologized to the Board for not having the time to review it prior to this evening; however, some of the items do not make sense.  Mr. Eccles stated that not that the policy is done without the best intentions of the district, however, some of the wording is going to limit the district in its capability of obtaining funds.  Mr. Eccles does not believe that we are looking for signs in the hallway, but if we are, for an advertiser to advertise and only allow them ten (l0%) percent space is going to net the district zero income. As long as it is done in good faith, and it will not harm our students or the community, such as tobacco or alcohol, you cannot set a limit such as 10% corporate name and expect to draw funds. Basically, looking at number 2, Mr. Eccles stated he is also concerned about any advertising the district would have outside on the grounds.  Mr. Eccles believed that it should be directed that it go towards a certain group, which would be the district and not other groups.  Expansion could be made on alumni that the district has, and there is a great wealth out there that are more than capable and willing to donate to the school, such as is done at colleges and universities.  Mr. Eccles feels that it is not in the best interest of the Board to proceed with this until it goes back to committee for more discussion.

Mr. Eccles noted that he absolutely feels that the policy needs to move forward; however, the wording needs to be revised, and further discussions need to take place since the policy as currently written limits the districts potential for income.

Ms. Drioli suggested Mr. Eccles make a motion to continue to look at the policy and make adjustments that are adequate for the districts needs.  Mr. Schoenstadt stated that the Board could pass the motion in order that a policy would be in effect, and then return it to committee for reexamination of some of the points that Mr. Eccles pointed out. 

Mrs. Butville advised that at this point things are occurring without a policy, and a policy needs to be in place, especially due to our live presentation of the graduation.  Mrs. Butville recommended that it be passed this evening and any other revisions can be recommended that the policy go back to be reviewed by the Policy Board.  Mrs. Butville further advised that the ten (l0%) percent is specifically referring to the school newsletters and papers distributed to parents.   Specifically, if a sponsor wanted to donate the paper or the expense of same, that they could have their logo at the bottom of the paper to recognize that they made a contribution to the school. 

The Board approved the motion with seven ayes and one nay, Mr. Eccles.

Motion:  Adoption of School Board Policy #725 Fixed Assets

Mrs. Butville presented the following motion:

                WHEREAS, on June 30, l999, the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) released a
                statement Number 34, Basic Financial Statements and Managements Discussion and Analysis
                 For State and Governments; and

                WHEREAS, in order to comply with GASB Statement Number 34 capital asset financial reporting 
    requirements, Administration has recommended a Fixed Assets Policy to the Board Policy
    Committee for review; and

                WHEREAS, after review by the Board Policy Committee, the District is ready to recommend a new
    Board Policy #725 Fixed Assets.

                NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Policy #725 Fixed Assets be approved by the
    Board of School Directors.

Mr. Eccles seconded the motion. 

Dr. Spitz inquired whether this would take the form of a list of all the districts fixed assets, and will that list include figures that would be updated on a periodic basis. Further, Dr. Spitz inquired what is the benefit of this policy other then the district is required to do it.  Mr. Paradise advised that it is required and the district already has many of these things in place at the present time.  Fixed asset records are maintained for insurance purposes; however, GASB is requiring that before the end of June the district must in effect codify our policy, take our existing policy and put some specifics into same and place it in writing.  The district will continue to document these things and keep fixed asset records for insurance companies.  Now we will have a written policy that will dictate how it is done. 

Dr. Spitz inquired whether there will be a list that could be examined, and Mr. Paradise advised that it would be available. 

The Board approved the motion with eight ayes.

Motion:  Adoption of Revised School Board Policy #512 High School Diploma

Mrs. Butville presented the following motion:

                WHEREAS, in order to keep District Board Policies updated, current, new, and revised, policies
    are recommended by the Administration to the Board Policy Committee for review; and

                WHEREAS, after review by the Board Policy Committee, the District is ready to recommend a
    revised Board Policy #512 High School Diploma.

                NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Policy #512 High School Diploma be approved by
    the Board of School Directors.

Mr. Dengler seconded the motion.  The Board approved the motion with eight ayes.

Motion:  Adoption of Revised Policy #533 Home Education

Mrs. Butville presented the following motion:

                WHEREAS, the Neshaminy School District permits alternative approaches to education consistent
    with the needs of the community and the interests of individual parents and their children; and

                WHEREAS, the Neshaminy School District believes that children benefit from participation in PIAA
    sports and Co-curricular activities; and

                WHEREAS, the Neshaminy Board of School Directors supports the opportunity for Home
    Education student participation in certain PIAA sports and Co-curricular activities; and

                WHEREAS, in order to keep District Board Policies updated, current, new, and revised policies are
    recommended by the Administration to the Board Policy Committee for review; and

                WHEREAS, after review by the Board Policy Committee, the District is ready to recommend a
    revised Board Policy #533 Home Education Program (with addendum subject to change)

                NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Policy #533 Home Education be approved by the
    Board of School Directors.

Mr. Mecleary seconded the motion.

Mr. Eccles noted that he has grave concerns regarding future litigation against the district.  Mr. Eccles believes that the district is opening itself up for just a small few home schooled students, but the way it is written it is conceivable that our private and parochial schools could then ask to be involved with the districts sporting programs.  Has it happened no.  Is there a possibility that it would yes.  Therefore, I cannot support this for that reason.  Mr. Eccles stated that he would be concerned regarding the double standards that may occur.

Mrs. Butville noted that on page three of the policy it states:  A pupil residing in Neshaminy School District and enrolled in a private, charter or cyber school is not eligible to participate in any Neshaminy School District sponsored after school co-curricular activities.  Mrs. Butville advised that one of the legislative bodies was considering making another mandate for school districts that home schooled students be able to participate in the public school system.  Forty percent of the 50l school districts in Pennsylvania already allow home schooled students to participate.

Ms. Drioli stated that the committee looked into the possibility of litigation and it is possible.  Even though Ms. Drioli is not a proponent of home-schooled students she is a proponent of children and she believes that anything that will benefit children is noteworthy.  Ms. Drioli hopes that in the future the program would be expanded to classroom situations wherein the students can benefit.  The parents, in many cases, have made the choice for these students.

Mr. Eccles stated that the Solicitor has stated that the probability does exist where there is at least an existence of possible litigation in reference to this.  The percentage of schools that allow home schooled students to participate have a very small student population, and Mr. Eccles felt the district would be setting a double standard for its students that they must be here during the day to participate in after school activities.

Mrs. Butville advised that the policy contains ways of being sure that students who are home schooled are under the same types of requirements as those that attend our schools.  There is accountability, and it is a very small amount of students that will be affected by this. If a child is participating in an after school sport they might eventually join into our school system. 

Mr. Eccles stated that a comment was made in reference to the state mandating home schooled students participation, and again Mr. Eccles asked the board to be cautious, and if mandated, the district would have the protection from the state.

Dr. Bowman stated that he is basically in support of home-schooled students participating, however, the issue of double standards is of concern.  Dr. Bowman advised that it is terribly unfair to require a high school student to start his day at 5:30 a.m., come to school, and then participate in the athletic event that is governed by PIAA rules.  An inequity may occur since the district must abide by PIAA rules; the district must set standards, and apply those standards to all students.  Dr. Bowman expressed a real concern regarding creating double standards.  Dr. Bowman advised that he too was an advocate for all students, but also an advocate of some degree of fairness.  Dr. Bowman advised that if the state board of education passes a law or regulation it will supersede PIAA regulations, and the district needs to be aware of the legislation in order that it takes corrective actions so that all the laws and guidelines are met.

Mr. Wilson seconded the comments of Dr. Bowman and advised that the policy is setting up a double standard.   Mr. Wilson agreed with Mr. Eccles with regards to the percentage of school districts allowing home schooled students are many small, rural districts wherein PIAA athletic competition is not as competitive as it is in a suburban area.   Mr. Wilson asked the Board to consider waiting until Harrisburg makes a statement or passes a law, and in turn, the district would not need to worry about double standards. 

Ms. Drioli commented that the Board has considered the home schooling issue for two years and this is the first time such comments are being made. Mrs. Butville advised that Dr. Bowman previously expressed these concerns.  

Dr. Bowman advised that it is a PIAA regulation that a student must be in school at least a full half-day in order to participate.  Dr. Bowman stated that there are students in the community that could participate in activities that are not PIAA activities that would not fall under that double standard issue.  But, it so happens that the district has PIAA and the district must abide by it.  The Board needs to be knowledgeable as to PIAA issues and what governs our programs. 

Mr. Schoenstadt commented that he did not mind the district taking the lead in almost every area academic and in sports; however, when the lead is taken in an issue that could have long-term legal ramifications it is a concern.  The fact is that the state legislature has the responsibility, and when they resolve the issue and take the legal burden away from the district Mr. Schoenstadt stated that he would have no problem supporting the policy.  However, there is too much of an opportunity to place too many of our students at a disadvantage.

Mr. Schoenstadt requested a roll call vote on the motion.  The roll call tally indicated the Board rejected the motion with four ayes, Mrs. Butville, Ms. Drioli, Mr. Mecleary, and Dr. Spitz, and four nays, Mr. Schoenstadt, Mr. Dengler, Mr. Eccles and Mrs. Jowett.

Mr. Schoenstadt stated that on a basis of a four to four tie the motion is defeated.  Mr. Schoenstadt stated that it could be considered at some future time and presented by the committee again.

Motion:  2002-2003 Preliminary Budget

Mr. Schoenstadt presented the following motion:

                  WHEREAS, the Board of School Directors has received and reviewed a working draft budget for
     the 2002-2003 fiscal year; and

                  WHEREAS, as set forth in Section 687 of the Pennsylvania Public School Code, this document
    shall be made available for public inspection 20 days prior to final adoption.

                  NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the proposed budget as of May 22, 2002, be made
    available to the public for review in preparation of the final budget, with additional changes, to be
    adopted on June 11, 2002.

Mr. Mecleary seconded the motion.

Dr. Spitz inquired whether it was the intention to adopt the final budget on June 11, 2002, regardless of whether the state legislature has passed anything.  Dr. Bowman advised that was correct and the state was considering a one percent increase, which would mean approximately $90,000 to the district.  

Dr. Bowman advised that the administration is looking at bringing to the Board by June 4, 2002, a further reduced budget and on June 11, 2002, to pass the budget.  By June 11, 2002 the district will have the best information available regarding the state.

Dr. Spitz advised that if it was necessary to schedule a later session in June 2002, that should be considered.  Dr. Spitz will not support a budget on June 11, 2002, if the district does not know what the legislature is going to do.

Mr. Paradise added that the state legislature has required districts to adopt a budget by June 30th.  In order for the district to maximize the cash flow, maximize the investment income, the district must adopt a budget relatively early in June, since tax bills need to be prepared which are dated July 1st.  Any delay in that date costs the district investment income every day.   Mr. Paradise further advised that if the state should increase our subsidy it would be rolled into the fund balance and it would available to the Board next year in terms of dealing with the budget at that time.

Mr. Schoenstadt commented that he does not see any reason why, if we have not had a positive response prior to June 11th from the state, that we could not postpone for a week or so, as long as we knew that we would be looking forward to more then the one (l%) percent estimated.

Dr. Spitz made a motion to amend the item to read, to be adopted in June.  Mr. Schoenstadt seconded the motion.  The Board approved the motion to amend with eight ayes. 

Mr. Schoenstadt stated that the original motion is now amended to read in the last paragraph in June, 2002.  Mrs. Butville seconded the motion.  The Board approved the motion with eight ayes.

Mr. Schoenstadt stated that a vote now would be taken to pass the Preliminary Budget as amended. 

Mrs. Butville stated that she is going to make this public tonight, however, unless further changes are made, Mrs. Butville will not approve the budget with this amount of increase. 

Mr. Eccles also agreed that still more work needs to be done and would only vote to approve the Preliminary Budget. 

The Board approved the Preliminary Budget with eight ayes.

Federal Programs Dr. Bowman advised that it has been another successful federal program year for Dr. Costanzo and the staff that worked with her in obtaining all the grants that provided a variety of programs and services to the districts students.

Other Board Business Mr. Eccles complimented the middle schools, Maple Point, Neshaminy Junior, Poquessing and Sandburg, for an outstanding job at the 9th grade track championships in Hatboro-Horsham stadium.   Mr. Eccles further advised that the Academic Awards Dinner will be held on May 23rd for Carl Sandburg Middle School whereat the top l0% of the students with the highest grade point average would be honored.

Correspondence Mr. Schoenstadt stated a thank you card was received from Joan Clarke who received a 25-year service award and she expressed her pleasure in being honored and thanked the Board and school Administration for recognizing her 25 years.

Public Comment Mr. Schneider stated he was very disappointed that the policy regarding home-schooled students was not passed.  Mr. Schneider commented that the district wants to be a leader, however, there was no support for his child. 

Ms. Judy Beck, Langhorne Manor, PTO President at Neshaminy Middle with children in Neshaminy High School and Neshaminy Middle, stated that she never home schooled; however, if the state recognizes home schooled students going through a whole program, graduating and going on to college, why cant the district recognize these students.  These are students who go through rigorous testing at home, and Ms. Beck agreed with Dr. Spitz regarding approaching the PIAA on some of their standards.  Ms. Beck would like to invite the PIAA to attend a PTO board meeting or a public meeting to go over their rules and regulations.

Board Comment Dr. Spitz inquired whether any further information was available regarding the use of space at Tawanka.  Ms. Drioli stated that Lower Southampton Recreation Board is still interested in the space and was to get a cost analysis from Mr. Paradise at which time they will submit a letter.

Mr. Wilson responded to Dr. Spitz that two other groups have expressed interest, in addition to the intermediate unit, and the numbers that were given to them for the lease of space, were the numbers wherein the district would make a profit.  When Mr. Paradise finished his study regarding the break-even point, the district would be in touch with the two particular groups and let them know that price.

 Mr. Dengler expressed that he had the privilege of attending a concert at Poquessing Middle School where a new tradition was started; the Faculty along with the Fulbright Exchange teacher from Hungary gave a concert.  The concert was very well attended, excellent publicity, and it was an excellent night.

Dr. Bowman wanted to remind the Board and the community that by the end of this week the district should be hearing from Washington regarding whether Maple Point Middle School has been designated as a National Blue Ribbon School. 

Mrs. Butville moved the meeting be adjourned and Ms. Drioli seconded the motion.  The Board approved the motion with eight ayes.  Mr. Schoenstadt adjourned the meeting at 9:50 p.m.

Respectively submitted,

Anita E. Walls
Board Secretary

 
 

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